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While this Psammis was king of Egypt, he was visited by ambassadors from Elis, the Eleans boasting that they had arranged the Olympic games with all the justice and fairness in the world, and claiming that even the Egyptians, although the wisest of all men, could not do better. When the Eleans came to Egypt and announced why they had come, Psammis assembled the Egyptians reputed to be wisest. These assembled and learned all that the Eleans were to do regarding the games; after explaining this,
e Eleans said that they had come to learn whether the Egyptians could discover any juster way.
The Egyptians deliberated, and then asked the Eleans if their own citizens took part in the contests. The Eleans answered that they did: all Greeks from Elis or elsewhere might contend.
Then the Egyptians said that in establishing this rule they fell short of complete fairness: “For there is no way that you will not favor your own townsfolk in the contest and wrong the stranger; if you wish in fact to
In Scythia, then, this happens because of the cold. But I think it strange (for it was always the way of my history to investigate excurses) that in the whole of Elis no mules can be conceived although the country is not cold, nor is there any evident cause. The Eleans themselves say that it is because of a curse that mules cannot be conceived among them; but whenever the season is at hand for the mares to conceive, they drive them into the countries of their neighbors, and then send the asses after them, until the mares are pregnant, and then they drive them home again.
Thus his mother spoke. After learning what he desired, Demaratus took provisions and travelled to Elis, pretending that he was going to Delphi to inquire of the oracle. But the Lacedaemonians suspected that he planned to escape and went in pursuit. Demaratus somehow went across to Zacynthus from Elis before them; the Lacedaemonians crossed over after him and laid hands on him, carrying off his servants. But the Zacynthians refused to give him up, and later he crossed from there to Asia and wenElis before them; the Lacedaemonians crossed over after him and laid hands on him, carrying off his servants. But the Zacynthians refused to give him up, and later he crossed from there to Asia and went to king Darius, who received him in grand style and gave him lands and cities. So Demaratus reached Asia through such chances, a man who had gained much renown in Lacedaemon by his many achievements and his wisdom, and by conferring on the state the victory in a chariot-race he had won at Olympia; he was the only king of Sparta who did this.
In the meantime, immediately after the misfortune at Thermopylae, the Thessalians sent a herald to the Phocians, because they bore an old grudge against them and still more because of their latest disaster. Now a few years before the king's expedition, the Thessalians and their allies had invaded Phocis with their whole army but had been worsted and roughly handled by the Phocians. When the Phocians were besieged on Parnassus, they had with them the diviner Tellias of Elis; Tellias devised a stratagem for them: he covered six hundred of the bravest Phocians with gypsum, themselves and their armor, and led them to attack the Thessalians by night, bidding them slay whomever they should see not whitened. The Thessalian sentinels were the first to see these men and to flee for fear, supposing falsely that it was something supernatural, and after the sentinels the whole army fled as well. The Phocians made themselves masters of four thousand dead, and their shields, of which they dedicated
Seven nations inhabit the Peloponnese. Two of these are aboriginal and are now settled in the land where they lived in the old days, the Arcadians and Cynurians. One nation, the Achaean, has never left the Peloponnese, but it has left its own country and inhabits another nation's land. The four remaining nations of the seven are immigrants, the Dorians and Aetolians and Dryopians and Lemnians. The Dorians have many famous cities, the Aetolians only Elis, the Dryopians Hermione and Asine near Laconian Cardamyle, the Lemnians all the Paroreatae. The Cynurians are aboriginal and seem to be the only Ionians, but they have been Dorianized by time and by Argive rule. They are the Orneatae and the perioikoi. All the remaining cities of these seven nations, except those I enumerated, stayed neutral. If I may speak freely, by staying neutral they medized.
The Spartans too were so eagerly desirous of winning Tisamenus that they granted everything that he demanded. When they had granted him this also, Tisamenus of Elis, now a Spartan, engaged in divination for them and aided them to win five very great victories. No one on earth save Tisamenus and his brother ever became citizens of Sparta. Now the five victories were these: one, the first, this victory at Plataea; next, that which was won at Tegea over the Tegeans and Argives; after that, over all the Arcadians save the Mantineans at Dipaea; next, over the Messenians at Ithome; lastly, the victory at Tanagra over the Athenians and Argives, which was the last won of the five victories.The battle at Ithome was apparently in the third Messenian war; that at Tanagra, in 457 B.C. (Thuc. 1.107). Nothing is known of the battles at Tegea and Dipaea.
Mardonius' sacrifices also foretold an unfavorable outcome if he should be zealous to attack first, and good if he should but defend himself. He too used the Greek manner of sacrifice, and Hegesistratus of Elis was his diviner, the most notable of the sons of Tellias. This man had been put in prison and condemned to die by the Spartans for the great harm which he had done them. Being in such bad shape inasmuch as he was in peril of his life and was likely to be very grievously maltreated before his death, he did something which was almost beyond belief; made fast in iron-bound stocks, he got an iron weapon which was brought in some way into his prison, and straightway conceived a plan of such courage as we have never known; reckoning how best the rest of it might get free, he cut off his own foot at the instep. This done, he tunneled through the wall out of the way of the guards who kept watch over him, and so escaped to Tegea. All night he journeyed, and all day he hid and lay hidden